Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks & Basil

Since I’ve been cutting a lot of gluten out of my diet, risotto has quickly replaced pasta in my regular dinner repertoire.  It gives me the same satisfaction, even though it is more of a time commitment.  This is one of my favorite risotto dishes yet.  The flavors are simple but very comforting and delicious.  We ate this as a main course, but would be lovely as a side dish as well.
squash, leek & basil risotto

you will need:
olive oil
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed in ½ inch pieces
salt & pepper
1 cup leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced in half moons
5 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1½ cups arborio rice
¾ dry white wine
3½ cups chicken broth, warm
½ cup chopped fresh basil plus a bit extra for serving
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese plus extra for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Peel and chop squash.  Spread out on a baking sheet, then season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until beginning to brown and crisp.  Check after 10 minutes and toss to even the cooking.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add leeks and sauté until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add thyme and rice and stir 1 minute. Add wine, letting simmer until absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Then add broth ½ cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next.  This process should take about 30 minutes. *You may not need all of the broth..adjust based on your preferences of consistency and moisture level.

Once rice is finished cooking, remove from heat. Stir in basil, freshly grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately in bowls topped with more basil and cheese.

serves: 4
time: 60 minutes
adapted from: Bon Appétit

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  1. Posted February 25, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    This looks absolutely DELICIOUS! A friend of mine made me risotto last week and I’d love to learn to make it myself, so thank you for sharing this!

    • Ali
      Posted March 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s pretty easy I think, just takes time and patience. This is a great one to start with since it’s so delicious!

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